Hello, I am new to the world of smoking meat and would like to build my own concrete smoker. I have seen many versions of these but wanted to get some advice on some questions I had about doing this.
- Does it matter if the fire area is offset or in where the meat will be? I don't plan on doing cold smoking if that makes a difference. I plan on using the smoker to cook and smoke meat to eat soon after cooking.
- What kind of base is best for the area where the fire will be? I have seen ones that use fire bricks, concrete pad, sand, dirt, etc.
- Is a chimney necessary for excess smoke venting, or is a hole/holes in the concrete wall enough for ventilation and air flow? I have seen some that have chimneys and some that don't.
- I was not planning on using mortar on the concrete blocks so that I can replace ones that crack - will there be enough insulation without mortar?
- for metal parts like the grate and the top, what kind of metal works best in terms of food safety?
I appreciate any input from members, and thank you in advance for your answers.